The Garden of Allah (1936 film)
|The Garden of Allah|
1936 US Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Richard Boleslawski|
|Produced by||David O. Selznick|
|Written by||William P. Lipscomb
|Based on||The Garden of Allah
by Robert S. Hichens
C. Aubrey Smith
|Music by||Max Steiner|
W. Howard Greene (uncredited)
Harold Rosson (uncredited)
|Edited by||Hal C. Kern
|Distributed by||United Artists|
The Garden of Allah (1936) is a dramatic film made by Selznick International Pictures, directed by Richard Boleslawski and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by William P. Lipscomb and Lynn Riggs, who based it on the 1905 novel by Robert S. Hichens. Hichens's novel had been filmed twice before, as silent films made in 1916 and 1927. This sound version stars Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer with Basil Rathbone, C. Aubrey Smith, Joseph Schildkraut, John Carradine, Alan Marshal, and Lucile Watson. The music score is by Max Steiner.
It was the fourth film to be photographed in Three-strip Technicolor, and (uncredited) cinematographers W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson received a special Academy Award for advances in color cinematography. The filming locations were in Buttercup, California and Yuma, Arizona.
Trappist monk Boris Androvski (Charles Boyer) feels enormous pressure at having to keep his vows as a monk, so he flees his monastery. Yet he is the only one who knows the secret recipe of the monastery's famous liqueur, a recipe passed down from one generation of monks to another. Meanwhile, heiress Domini Enfilden (Marlene Dietrich) is newly freed from her own prison of caring for her just-deceased father and also seeks the exotic open spaces of the North African desert to nurture her soul.
Androvski and Domini meet, fall in love, and are married by the local priest, after which the newlyweds are whisked off into the scorching desert – a trip that the local sand diviner has forecast will bring happiness and a bad end. Domini is unaware of Androvski's past as a monk.
When a lost patrol of French legionnaires finds its way into camp, one of their number recognizes the liqueur he is served. Boris' true identity is revealed. But it is not until he is rejected by his wife for breaking his final vows to God to live as a monk does Boris decide to return to the monastery, parting from his wife.
- Marlene Dietrich as Domini Enfilden
- Charles Boyer as Boris Androvski
- Basil Rathbone as Count Ferdinand Anteoni
- C. Aubrey Smith as Father J. Roubier
- Joseph Schildkraut as Batouch
- John Carradine as the sand diviner
- Alan Marshal as Captain de Trevignac
- Lucile Watson as Mother Superior Josephine
- Henry Brandon as Hadj
- Tilly Losch as Irena
The film was originally budgeted at $1.6 million but this went over by an estimated $370,000, which ended up being roughly the size of the loss the film recorded.
- David Thomson, Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, Abacus, 1993 p 230